'The Handmaid's Tale' is a very special story.
Huge studio movies are handed over to a man with less experience before they're handed over to a woman with less experience. That's a fact. But I think it's not just about men not hiring women: it's about women not hiring women, too.
I have been lucky in getting a lot of the projects I've wanted, maybe because I'm really, really driven. But there is a stigma that women can't direct big studio films. Not that I want to do that, but it is a topic that comes up a lot.
A sad truth I learned as a DP starting out was that it doesn't matter how beautiful I make it if the story and performance are not there. That should be number one.
When you work as a cinematographer, the actors look to you for reassurance. When you're lighting them, they can never think you're making an adjustment because of the way they look. If they are nervous, it impacts their performance, which impacts the story.
I would rather be hired solely for my talent, not just to fill a quota. I also don't want to shoot just any studio movie just to say I'm shooting studio movies - for me, quality of the material comes first, and if eventually that leads to a really great studio project, then that's a bonus.